Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.
  • adj. Showing deferential or submissive respect: a humble apology.
  • adj. Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly: a humble cottage.
  • transitive v. To curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate.
  • transitive v. To cause to be meek or modest in spirit.
  • transitive v. To give a lower condition or station to; abase. See Synonyms at degrade.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Near the ground; not high or lofty; not pretentious or magnificent; unpretending; unassuming; as, a humble cottage.
  • adj. Thinking lowly of one's self; claiming little for one's self; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; lowly; weak; modest.
  • v. To bring low; to reduce the power, independence, or exaltation of; to lower; to abase; to humiliate.
  • v. To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride or arrogance of; to reduce the self-sufficiency of; to make meek and submissive; -- often used reflexively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Near the ground; not high or lofty; not pretentious or magnificent; unpretending; unassuming.
  • adj. Thinking lowly of one's self; claiming little for one's self; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; thinking one's self ill-deserving or unworthy, when judged by the demands of God; lowly; waek; modest.
  • adj. Hornless. See hummel.
  • transitive v. To bring low; to reduce the power, independence, or exaltation of; to lower; to abase; to humilate.
  • transitive v. To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride or arrogance of; to reduce the self-sufficiently of; to make meek and submissive; -- often used rexlexively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hum.
  • To break; make sore.
  • To break off the ears of (barley) with a flail; separate from the awns.
  • To break off the horns of.
  • Broken; bruised; sore.
  • Having no horns, as a cow.
  • Pertaining to a humble cow.
  • Lowly in kind, state, condition, amount, etc.; of little worth or moment; unimportant; low; common: as, a humble cottage; a man of humble origin; a humble follower; my humble means.
  • Lowly in manner or guise; modest; unpretending; submissive: as, a humble apology.
  • Lowly in feeling; lacking self-esteem; having a sense of insignificance, unworthiness, dependence, or sinfulness; meek; penitent.
  • To make lower; bring down; bow down.
  • To make lower in state or condition; reduce in power, possessions, esteem, etc.; abase: as, to humble one's foes; to humble the pride of a rival.
  • To make humble or lowly in feeling; bring down the pride or vanity of; make meek and submissive; humiliate: often used reflexively.
  • Synonyms Debase, Degrade, etc. See abase.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
  • adj. low or inferior in station or quality
  • adj. used of unskilled work (especially domestic work)
  • adj. of low birth or station (`base' is archaic in this sense)
  • v. cause to be unpretentious
  • adj. marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin humilis, low, lowly, from humus, ground; see dhghem- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French (h)umble, from Latin humilis ("low, slight, hence mean, humble") (compare Greek χαμαλός (khamalos, "on the ground, low, trifling")), from humus ("the earth, ground"), humi ("on the ground"). See homage, and compare chameleon, humiliate. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • I would like to quote two recent uses of humble/humbled. Appearing before a House of Commons committee lately, Rupert Murdoch said that this was the most humble day of his life. On April 10th, 2013, Sir Mark Thatcher said that his mother would have felt humbled by the Queen's attending her funeral, which was due to take place a few days later.

    April 10, 2013